Stop Worrying about Paying for College and Start Saving for College
Bank of North Dakota (BND) encourages parents and grandparents to explore their college saving options with College SAVE, the state’s 529 college savings plan. This month we celebrate 529 College Savings Day on May 29 (5/29) and everyone has the chance to win one of eight $529 College SAVE scholarships. Visit collegesave4u.com/529day and register to win. While there, you can explore and learn the benefits of saving for college.
College SAVE allows families to open an account for a young person, contribute as little as $25 (or more if you can afford it) and grow the investment tax-free so there is more money to spend on college expenses. North Dakota residents can also take a tax deduction based on their contributions every year up to $10,000 for married filers or $5,000 for single filers.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are grants available if the child is 16 years old or younger. It is surprising to most people when they learn that four out of five families may qualify for up to $900 in matching grants from Bank of North Dakota. For families who open a College SAVE account for an infant less than one year old, BND will contribute $100 to the new account through the Children FIRST program.
So stop worrying about how you are going to pay for college and start learning how you can save for college. Visit collegesave4u.com or call James Barnhardt at 701.328.5882 to learn more.
Have you Found your Internship?
Does your degree require an internship? Do you want real life experience in your chosen career field? Then an internship is for you. An internship is a great way to test drive a career before you are done with school. You will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience and potential income while doing some of the tasks that profession does on a daily basis. This experience will help you decide if you have chosen the right career path. It may even lead to a full time job.
Wondering where to find them? Check with your career services. Most businesses have developed a relationship with them and inform them when they have internship positions open. Job Service of North Dakota has a section just for internships.
Understanding Student Loans
If you’re planning on going to college, there’s a good chance you’ll have to take out a student loan to do it. The most important thing to understand about student loans is that they are loans, not free money. Like any other loan, they need to be paid back, plus interest unless it is a Stafford Subsidized loan. Make sure to apply for as many scholarships and grants as possible in order to minimize your student loan need.
How much should you take out in loans? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends taking out less than your expected starting salary once you graduate. So if you expect to earn $40,000 a year in your first job, do everything you can to take out less than $40,000 in loans. The smaller your loan debt, the better!
The first place to look for student loans is the federal government. You will have to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which helps the government understand how much you and your family can be expected to pay towards your education. The FAFSA is also used by the North Dakota University System to determine grants and scholarships you may qualify for. Visit studentaid.ed.gov to learn more about federal student loans.
If scholarships, grants and federal student loans don’t cover the full cost of your education, Bank of North Dakota’s (BND) DEAL Student Loan can help you. This state-sponsored loan has no fees for North Dakota residents and is available with a fixed or variable interest rate. Visit bnd.nd.gov to find out if the DEAL Student Loan can help make your college dream a reality.
ND DECA Members Attend International DECA Conference
North Dakota DECA members represented our state in a competitive manner at the 2015 International DECA Conferences held in Orlando in April With over 1500 college students and 18,000 high school students at each respective conference, North Dakota had a great participation; 75 participated at the college conference and 175 participated at the high school conference.
Congratulations to all students who qualified to represent North Dakota. A special congratulations to Katie Dauwen, NDSU who placed first in Travel and Tourism Marketing. This is an outstanding accomplishment. We also want to recognize Jade Stanislowski, UND, for placing second in Restaurant and Food Service Management and Kyle Armitage from NDSCS who placed second in Entrepreneurship, and Mitch Hersch, UND who placed third in Corporate Finance. Nineteen other students from ND placed in the top 10 in their respective events.
Congratulations to Prem Thakker, a sophomore from Grand Forks Red River who placed third in the Principles of Marketing event at the high school conference. Case Osborn from Mandan placed in the top 10 in Professional Selling. Cole Garman, Nathan Glass and Andrew Morgan from Mandan were also top 10 finalists. Eleven other students competing made finals and were also recognized. Anna Lawley, Fargo South and Madison Remer, Grand Forks Central were presented at National DECA Scholarship.
Summer - A Great Time to Visit Colleges
Summer is upon us. It is a great time to relax, and take a road trip to visit colleges as you plan for your future. But how do you figure out which colleges you should visit? And how do you schedule a tour?
RUReadyND has several school exploration tools to help you figure all this out. It helps you find schools based on size, location, and majors. It helps you compare schools and even see how far they are from home. Basic information about each school, such as tuition, admissions processes, academic calendar, program offerings, and social clubs are also available. Visit the college planning page at https://rureadynd.com/College_Planning/
Once you have selected which colleges to visit, make sure you are prepared for the visit. Talk with your parents about what you are looking for in a college. Write down questions before your visit. Think about the classes you want to take, what you need to learn, internship opportunities and your social life.
After you visit your selected colleges, compare notes from each of the visits. Talk to your parents and counselor. Talk to your friends. Selecting a school isn’t easy, but visiting a few different schools can make the decision much easier.